If you're looking for an easy, fun, home-made holiday gift idea, we have just the one for you. These individual cherry pies are baked in a small mason jar. You can give them unbaked and ready to bake or freeze, or you can bake them and give them ready to eat.
All you need are the canning jars, a jar of Cherry Republic's Mamma Mary’s Cherry Pie Filling and a store-bought, rolled out pie crust. I bought my canning jars at Meijer, but you should be able to find them at any discount store like Walmart or Target. You can use the pre-rolled crust in the dairy section of the grocery store.
What you will need for 8 mason jar cherry pies:
- 8 small, large-mouthed mason jars
- 1 jar Cherry Republic Mamma Mary’s Cherry Pie Filling
- 1 package pre-rolled pie crusts (contains two crusts)
- Cherry Republic Triple Cherry Granola (optional)
Remove one pie crust from package and make four 4-inch circles with each crust. You can make a template and cut the circles with a knife. I happened to have a 4-inch diameter mold that I used for my pie crust circles. Using the lid of one of the jars, make four top crusts for your pies. Repeat with the second pie crust.
Put the large pie crust round in a canning jar and push the dough into the bottom and around all of the edges so it is tight up against the wall of the canning jar. The pie crust should come up about half an inch from the top of the jar and be pushed tightly into the corners. Use excess pie crust to patch any holes in your crust.
Fill your pie with Mamma Mary’s Cherry Pie Filling. You want the filling to come about 1 inch below the top of the jar and about half an inch below the top of the crust.
Make some slits in the top crust and put it on top of the filling. Use your fingers or a fork to form a seal between the top and bottom crusts. Add a sprinkling of sugar on the top of the crust.
Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown. I put mine on a cookie sheet so the small jars would not be wobbly on the oven rack. You can serve them in the jar with a spoon or fork.
I love the pies with the regular pie crust, but my favorite was made with the Cherry Republic Triple Cherry Granola as the topping. Substitute a layer of granola for the top crust and cover with tin foil until the last ten minutes of baking. We find that the fruit in the granola will burn if you cook it uncovered for the full forty minutes.
If you or your recipient wants to freeze them to bake later, just put the canning jar lid on and put it in the freezer for up to six months. When you are ready for a fresh cherry pie, just put the frozen jar in a cold oven and turn the temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for about 45 minutes until golden brown. Note that you do not want to pre-heat the oven if the jars are frozen. Canning jars are designed for hot and cold temperatures, but you don’t want to put a freezing jar into a hot oven.
The canning jars come with their own labels, which you can use as your gift labels. I just put ribbon around mine, but you could cut a piece of decorative fabric, paper or a doily for over the lid with a ribbon tied around it.
I love to give these unbaked and frozen. We all have so many sweets around the house during the holidays but this is something that can be tucked in the freezer to bake and enjoy when the recipient is ready for a nice, individual piece of cherry pie. Make sure you put a label on the jar so your recipient knows how to cook the pie when it comes out of the freezer.